Forest Assessment and Monitoring

Subject FRST90019 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

May, Creswick - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 20-Apr-2015
Teaching Period 04-May-2015 to 15-May-2015
Assessment Period End 10-Jul-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 22-Apr-2015
Census Date 08-May-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 12-Jun-2015

Please note that this subject has a pre-teaching period and during this time students will be required to read:

  • West, P. W. (2009) Tree and Forest Measurement, chapters 9 and 10
  • Elzinga, C. L. et al (2007) Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations, chapter 2

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours of lectures, 36 hours practical work and excursions, delivered in a two-week intensive teaching block
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison students email:


Dr Julian Di Stefano, Dr Luba Volkova


Graduate School of Science


Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)


Dr Luba Volkova

Dr Julian Di Stefano

Subject Overview:

This subject promotes understanding of quantitative assessment of forest carbon, timber and biodiversity. Specifically, the aim is to:

  • Present the state of the art of forest assessment for carbon, timber and biodiversity
  • Present methods for formulating and planning an effective and efficient forest assessment
  • Enable participants to implement a modern assessment and determine the advantages and disadvantages of available methods
  • Enable participants to analyse assessment data to determine reliable estimates and confidence limits

Topics include: introduction to statistics and sampling theory, issues in forest assessment design, modern measurement tools and techniques, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and specific techniques for assessment of carbon, timber and biodiversity.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject will provide students with an advanced understanding of:

  • The role of assessment in forest management
  • Statistical techniques for sampling design and analysis, sources of assessment errors and their significance
  • The use of standard equipment to estimate tree and stand parameters such as diameter, basal area, height, crown cover and stem volume
  • The use of modelling tools to estimate forest carbon
  • Techniques to asses forest biodiversity including species richness and composition
  • The use of GIS for forest assessment and creating maps using ArcGIS
  • The use of remote sensing in forest assessment and project management. Ability to access and use various satellite data for specific purposes

At subject completion students should be able to design and implement a forest assessment.


Progress exercises (total of 40% and 2000 words; due May 25. There will be several progress exercises based around the main components of the course).

Major Report (60%, 3000 words; due June 29)

Prescribed Texts:

Recommended Texts:
  • P Burrough, Principles of Geographical Information Systems for Land Resources Assessment.
  • P.W. West, Tree and Forest Measurement.
  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, J.W. Willoughby and J.P. Gibbs, 2001 Monitoring Plant and Animal Populations. Blackwell, Malden
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Forest Systems Management
Graduate Diploma in Forest Systems Management
Master of Forest Ecosystem Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Sustainable Forests
Sustainable Forests

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